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[291]

“After extreme depression, I begin to take heart a little. Almighty God help me!”

Greek lesson — rehearsal in the evening — choral symphony and Lobgesang.”

During the summer of 1868 she had great pleasure in reading some of her essays at Newport, in the Unitarian Church. She notes in her “Reminiscences” that one lady kissed her after the reading, saying, “This is the way I want to hear women speak” ; and that Mrs. P-- S-- , on hearing the words, “If God works, madam, you can afford to work also!” rose and went out, saying, “I won't listen to such stuff as this!”

The parlor readings brought her name into wider prominence. She began to receive invitations to read and speak in public.

Mr. Emerson wrote to her concerning her philosophical readings: “The scheme is excellent — to read thus — so new and rare, yet so grateful to all parties. It costs genius to invent our simplest pleasures.”

The winter of 1867-68 saw the birth of another institution which was to be of lifelong interest to her: the New England Woman's Club. This, one of the earliest of women's clubs, was organized on February 16, 1868, with Mrs. Caroline M. Severance, in whose mind the idea had first taken shape, as president. Its constitution announces the objects of the association as “primarily, to furnish a quiet, central restingplace, and place of meeting in Boston, for the comfort and convenience of its members: and ultimately to become an organized social centre for united thought and action.”

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